Chicago Med continues to surprise and excel in its fifth season.
After a steller, albeit slightly soap opera-ish, premiere, the doctors at Gaffney brought life to a predictable and common trope.
The power outage caused by a storm pushed the doctors to their limits, and we almost got through the hour without any of their personal lives hijacking the storyline.
Almost being the keyword.
A focus on medical storylines always delivers great results and forces the ED to work together.
But things start to fall apart when the series tries to draw connections between the textbook material and what’s happening to the doctors in their personal lives.
We saw the same back-and-forth with Natalie and Will as we had in previous seasons. The addition of the brain injury causing memory loss trope paired with the possibility of Phillip being a complete nutjob was promising even if it was a bit much.
I mean, they basically sounded the alarm on Phillip in the Chicago Med season 5 premiere.
But we didn’t see any of that.
Nor did we get to see how Natalie’s injury was affecting her life outside of the romance aspect.
The whole arc was created with the sole purpose of creating more unnecessary drama between Will and Natalie.
While Natalie still had memory loss — as in she didn’t remember the proposal that never happened — there wasn’t any mention of her relationship with Phillip being off.
Will approached Natalie to welcome her back and things seemed fine between them. When Natalie told Maggie that she didn’t have feelings for Phillip anymore, a possible side-effect of her brain injuries, it seemed like a Will and Natalie reconciliation was on the horizon.
And then, like clockwork, Will pushed too far, got too invested in Natalie’s relationship, and pushed her away.
She got defensive of her relationship and without even wanting to, Will pushed her back into Phillip’s arms.
There’s no universe in which Natalie and Will’s storyline isn’t dysfunctional.
No matter how many times they try it always plays out the exact same way.
Phillip might be crazy but Will’s clinging to something he should have let go of a while ago.
On her first day back, Natalie was put under immense pressure when she was trapped in an elevator with a gunshot patient in a severe state.
She pulled through with the help of Chicago Fire’s Matt Casey, but it wasn’t without a few hiccups and headaches.
Natalie may seem fine but she’s been through a traumatic event herself — maybe she isn’t exactly ready for a full comeback.
Another person who should probably take it easy is Maggie.
If there’s anything we take away from the episode is that Maggie won’t be able to keep her chemo under wraps for too long.
Maggie doesn’t lean on people for help — she likes to be the one that people come to.
But asking for help is a necessary quality and one that she needs to embrace if she wants to beat this.
No one would look down on her. Yes, they might stop her from doing her job, but it’s best for her to take it easy.
If it had been just any other day, she could have gotten away with working her full shift.
Unfortunately, it was a long, high-stress day and the combination of chemo, doing too much, and the extreme heat took its toll on Maggie.
At the very least, she should tell her best friends April and Natalie.
They deserve to know and be there for her.
Noah’s back in the ED. His absence for the last half of the season wasn’t addressed, and he was thrown back right into the mix presenting the episode with somewhat of an ethical dilemma.
Noah didn’t agree with Dr. Marcel’s aggressive approach to selling bypass surgery to a patient.
It’s unclear if the patient’s situation was as dire as Dr. Marcel made it seem, but nevertheless, the patient agreed.
Noah seemed to have his hesitations even more so when the power went out.
If Marcel hadn’t been so persuasive, the patient wouldn’t have been in this situation.
But nothing else was explored in terms of ethics.
Noah later joined in on the surgery offering an extra hand and impressing Marcel who said he has “good hands.”
There’s no denying the whole reason for this scene was for Noah to get inspired and ditch his vision of a clinic to pursue a specialization.
While Noah stepped up to the plate during a time of crisis, poor Steve didn’t fair as well.
The medical student was thrown into the hubbub of the power outage when Dr. Choi learned he wanted to be an ED doctor and neede an extra hand.
Steve’s experience was just as traumatic as the patient’s life-or-death situation.
Seeing him overwhelmed and shocked by the situation unfolding in front of him was understandable — this was his first day!
He wasn’t ready to go into war-mode. Even experienced doctors were in panic mode.
So it was no surprise that by the end, Steve said that he was quitting despite his love for medicine.
To be fair, not every day is this intense, but the job isn’t for the faint of heart. If your heart isn’t in it, it’s probably best to find a different career path.
Dr. Choi wondered if he was too hard on the guy, but in reality, there was no time to ease him into a situation.
Despite walking him through everything, Dr. Choi treated him like a doctor and threw him in right into the action.
Steve wasn’t ready.
If that’s where this plot finished it would have been solid, but instead, the writers tried to tie it back to April and Ethan’s desire to have children.
Dr. Choi didn’t hold Steve’s hand or anticipate his needs (he was a little preoccupied) so that somehow meant that April would make a good mom cause she at least offered him a granola bar and water.
It’s a stretch to reiterate that the writers want these two to be parents at all costs.
And then there was Halstead’s patients, three girls who were suffering from seizures.
The “infection” started with one, spread to the second girl and then finally the third.
But seeing Dr. Charles lurk in the background with his brow furrowed meant that he was about to make a psychiatric breakthrough.
He didn’t believe Halstead’s theory that all these girls were infected.
They may have been exhibiting seizures and symptoms, but they were also attempting to study for AP Calculus while shaking and throwing up.
Turns out, Dr. Charles was right — the girls weren’t infected, they were simply under an immense amount of stress and were exhibiting a follower’s syndrome, which sounds like something we’d diagnose people on social media with.
The pressure to succeed will do that to you.
The moment Dr. Charles had a psychiatric theory and asked to have the girls in one room, I figured it would be something involving a placebo drug (tic tacs!) and anxiety.
What did you think of the episode?
Are you tired of Will and Natalie’s same old love story?
Do you think Maggie should come clean?
Have you missed Dr. Charles’ psychiatric diagnoses?
Should Dr. Choi and April cool it or get pregnant already?
‘Chicago Med’ Shuts Down Production for 2 Weeks After Crew Member Tests Positive for COVID
COVID has hit Chicago Med.
While many medical dramas are incorporating the very real pandemic into their upcoming storylines, the NBC drama set in Chicago has to deal with the effects of COVID in real life.
Deadline reports that production on the NBC medical drama has been shut down for two full weeks after a production team member was tested positive for the novel virus.
The team member was allegedly sent home immediately following the positive result and the series decided to pause production out of an abundance of caution.
This is reportedly the second member in the department to test positive.
Chicago Med began filming last week ahead of its season 6 premiere, which is set for Wednesday, November 11 along with sister shows, Chicago Fire and Chicago PD, which are said to begin production next month.
It’s unclear if this will affect the premiere date for the series.
Chicago Med Season Finale Review – What’s Crockett Marcel’s Damage? (5×20)
Chicago Med aired its season finale, and the series was brutally cheated from a dramatic finish or compelling cliffhanger as a result of the coronavirus shutting down production and forcing a shortened season.
Not that there was anything wrong with the episode — it was a perfectly entertaining standalone episode of the series — but it didn’t meet the expectations of a season finale.
And that’s absolutely no one’s fault. Some shows were lucky enough that the last episode in their artillery had a gut-punch while others, like Med, were forced to settle for “good enough.”
The best part of “Needle in the Heart” — a metaphorical title but also one that applied directly to Charles’ patient as he was stabbing himself in the heart with needles — was that we finally got some backstory on Crockett Marcel.
I say finally because I’ve been waiting to find out more about the dark, composed, and confident surgeon since he waltzed into the ED at the beginning of season 5.
As I expected, Crockett had a pretty dark past that was unearthed when he became the prime suspect in a cold-case murder investigation that took place several years back while he was studying in New Orleans.
The cops tried to pull Crockett out of surgery and arrest him, but Sharon Goodwin did not stand for that. And she’s right. There was absolutely no reason why they can’t wait for him to save a life before trying to ruin his.
Natalie’s expressed interest and intrigue in Crockett for a while now, almost as long as I’ve wanted to learn more about him, so she didn’t believe for a moment that he would be capable of murder.
A man who dedicates himself unconditionally to saving lives day in and day out, and who beats himself up over every unsuccessful surgery is not a man that could or would harm anyone. It’s in his blood to help others.
In an effort to clear his name, she launched her own investigation that led her to Crockett’s former buddy and his patient’s referring doctor.
The doctor also didn’t believe that the murder charges could hold up but admitted that Crockett was going through a dark period at the time of the murder as he lost his 1-year-old daughter, Harper, to leukemia.
My theory that Crockett lost a child was proven right. Looking back at the season, there were a few clues pointing to it including his reaction to seeing a child dying of cancer during the kidnapping. He seemed to understand the father’s pain and feeling of helplessness. There was also the episode where he was hard on himself for not being able to save a child and spent the entire evening drowning his sorrows at the bar.
Nat then made the connection that if Crockett had donated bone marrow to save his daughter, it could have been given to someone that adopted his DNA. This was a case of mistaken DNA!
Her meticulous attention to detail and quick thinking saved Crockett. And since the cops immediately retreated, they cops didn’t have any substantial evidence against him.
Crockett was grateful for her help until he learned that she knew his secret. His whole demeanor changed at that moment and he asked her to keep it between them since people tend to look at you differently when they know the truth.
But is there more to the story? His decision to separate himself from his loss explains why he’s chipper, carefree, and gives off the impression that he’s a ladies man.
It’s likely the death of the baby fractured his relationship with the baby momma.
And his new persona is his attempt at pushing everyone away out of fear of truly committing and hurting in the same way he did way back then.
I’m not sure if this reveal will lead to a relationship between Crockett and Natalie or if it will pull them apart.
But it also doesn’t seem like Med is interested in pursuing anything between April and Crockett.
After her breakup with Ethan, April hasn’t been doing so well. And when she found out he was a hostage in a convenience store robbery, she rushed over there to make sure he was safe.
They both seem to regret how things went down and there’s a shared love between them that they can’t seem to shake, but is it enough to put the pieces back together and fix how broken they’ve been this whole time?
The hostage situation seemed written only to make April realize the intensity of her feelings, so I wasn’t too invested in it. It’s not like there was ever any real threat to Ethan.
Halstead had his first hiccup with Hannah when he realized she’d lied to him about going to a AA meeting.
Of course, given Hannah’s prior addiction, the moment she acted suspiciously, we all assumed she was on her way to get high again.
Thankfully, that wasn’t the case as she came to the ER with her ex, who was also an addict.
Her decision to lie about where she was going and who she was with would have been problematic if she hadn’t come clean to Will, but she did without him even calling her out.
It seems Hannah didn’t want anything to get in the way of how great things were going, and you can understand how she would think an addict ex would make Halstead question her commitment to her sobriety.
However, I have to give a round of applause to Halstead remaining level-headed throughout the situation, not jumping to conclusions, and not doing anything ridiculously stupid that would destroy his relationship. I mean, what a glow-up!
Will has been good for Hannah’s recovery, and Hannah’s been good at keeping Will on the path of making sound life choices. I think I speak for all of us when I say, finally!
Halstead realized that sometimes people lie because they’re trying to help and protect other people like his patient who gave his uninsured friend his insurance card to treat a gnarly rash.
The friend’s intentions may have been pure, but he actually put his friend at risk because Halstead went off the insurance card holder’s chart and pushed an antibiotic that the other man was allergic to. Helping could have killed a friend in this case.
Dr. Charles learned the importance of believing and trusting a patient when they explain a symptom even if it doesn’t obviously present itself.
His patient kept sticking himself in the chest and heart area with needles to relieve a pressure that everyone kept writing off as anxiety.
At first, Charles made a similar diagnosis before realizing, thanks to his daughter, Anna’s middle-school boy troubles, that the man had a medical condition that needed Dr. Latham’s expertise.
However, the very notion of sticking needles into your heart had an underlying psychiatric reason and Charles still needed to help the patient cope with stress and anxiety.
Life is all about balance, and for Charles, his heavy and complex case was balanced out with his daughter’s pre-teen woes. She chose to skip a field trip to the museum and volunteer at the hospital instead only because she was embarrassed that a boy she liked didn’t like her back.
When you’re surrounded by pain and trauma all the time, little reminders like this tend to bring a smile to your face and even make you giggle a bit. It’s a silly worry, but one that feels just as real to Anna as the worries of all the other patients. It’s a good thing she has a psychologist for a father because she’s in for a wake-up call when she realizes life only gets harder. Knowing how to deal with a tough and crippling situation is half the battle.
What did you think of the episode?
Will April and Choi give it another go? Will Natalie and Crockett grow closer now that they have a deeper understanding of each other?
Why do we keep seeing Charles’ younger daughter?
Share your comments with us below, and also tell us what you thought about the season as a whole!
Until next time, Med fans!
Chicago Med Review – Choi and April Call It Quits, But is It Really Over? (5×19)
These doctors need to learn how to compartmentalize on Chicago Med.
The amount of personal feelings and emotions that affect the ED at Gaffney is ridiculous.
How are these excellent doctors not able to separate their private lives from their professional lives and put forth what’s most important — saving patients?
Will Halstead used to be the biggest offender, and yet, the best thing the series could have done for him was to separate his fate from Natalie Manning’s.
The minute those two began steering clear of each other and cut all romantic ties, Halstead suddenly began thinking in a clear manner.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, he still makes questionable judgment calls, but at least he’s not leading from a place of personal benefit.
When he suggested Dr. Asher to help his patient with brain cancer, there was definitely a small part of him that wanted to help her and prove to everyone else that she’s a good doctor despite the drug addiction because he felt guilty for bringing it to light, but for the most part, he truly believes that she’s the best.
He believes in her skill, her knowledge, and that she’ll make the right calls. There’s no doubt about that.
Asher shouldn’t be shunned or demeaned because of her personal life, especially because she’s taken the necessary steps to get it in order and be the best version of herself that she can be when she steps into the hospital.
She also made the right choice, and Halstead’s decision to support her treatment plan had nothing to do with his feelings for her.
Marcie made it perfectly clear that she wanted to go through with the procedure. She was aware of the risks, and her desire to leave behind a child for her husband trumped the fear of dying.
Both Asher and Halstead honored her wishes and did their best to get the best outcome. Unfortunately, there are some cases you simply can’t win. Even Marcie’s husband understood that when he thanked Dr. Halstead for honoring his wife’s last wishes.
If anyone was blinded by feelings, it was Mrs. Curry, who we know had a thing for Halstead and previously tried to ask him out.
She thought less of Asher because of addiction and when she realized that Asher and Halstead were together, it bothered her.
We haven’t seen Dr. Asher’s post-addiction struggle play out on screen, but the series wanted us to understand that she’s been doing better thanks to Halstead.
Despite warnings that a relationship isn’t good for a recovering addict, Halstead seems to be Asher’s rock. He’s given her the confidence she needs to overcome this, which was obvious when she was vocal about her struggle and needing an NA meeting following the loss of her patient.
She’s on the right path by being able to acknowledge that she needs help.
With Halstead no longer leading with his feelings, Dr. Choi is the next in line, and he’s doing a horrible job of masking his insecurities and anger at Crockett.
The guy saw April and Crockett in the same room and almost flipped a lid.
Two separate yet connected patients were rushed into the hospital and forced Crockett, Choi, and April to all work together, and let’s say, it was an explosive combo.
Choi kept digging into Crockett and pretending that it was about his patient simply because he refused to acknowledge the real problem.
He wasn’t angry with Crockett (at least not fully), he was angry at April. He simply used Crockett as a punching bag.
Dr. Charles gave us some of his best work when he told Choi that it’s often easier to focus anxiety and anger elsewhere because it’s easier to face the pain of looking at the real issue.
Once Choi realized that he could throw a million punches at Crockett and it still wouldn’t make him feel better, he knew what he had to do, and it’s something that he should have done when he first found out about April’s cheating.
Instead, he went around acting petty and leading with anger which was a disturbance for staff and patients.
April seemed rather surprised by Choi’s decision to break up, but girl, what did you expect?
Choi could have forgiven the act of cheating and kissing another man, but he couldn’t forgive being lied to for weeks.
She tried to mask the problem by going all in on the IVF, but a baby, as we all should know by now, is never going to fix the problem.
Choi would never be able to trust April completely, and he’d never get over her fleeting fling with Crockett.
And while April might be distraught, she has to know that this is for the best because it gives her the opportunity to pursue her deeply repressed feelings for Crockett.
She didn’t just mess up during surgery because of Ethan, she messed up because getting so close to Crockett makes her nervous that she’s slip up again.
Crockett is a mystery wrapped inside a riddle that I very much want to unravel.
He’s the most composed of all of them, he takes risks, but most importantly, he’s able to own up to his mistakes. On the outside, he seems like a great guy, but there’s something bubbling inside, some darkness that we haven’t tapped into yet.
Natalie is seeing it because she questioned if he’s alright, but the fact that Crockett refused to talk about it says a lot.
And, of course, I still can’t shake the storyline where he wasn’t able to save a child and drowned his sorrow at the bottom of a bottle at the bar. I’m holding firm in my theory that he has experienced the loss of a child which ruined his relationship or marriage.
Dr. Choi’s patient, Zach, clearly wanted to commit suicide and was being coaxed by his father to say that a homeless man pushed him.
It was disturbing to see a father completely disregard his son’s issues and claim that depression was a sign of weakness. Yes, he was scared his son would get arrested and charged for vehicular manslaughter, but it was more than that. He was embarrassed and ashamed to acknowledge that his son had a legitimate problem. He felt it made him less of a man.
Our society needs to get to a point where people realize that matters of the mind are just as real of an issue as a heart attack or diabetes. The quicker we do that, the better for all children and adults suffering in silence.
Can you just imagine how bad it must be to live with someone like that that the kid tries to kill himself and the mother refused to say a word even though she knew that by not speaking up, she could lose her child for good?
It’s a heartbreaking realization made even more daunting when you realize it’s real life for some people.
Hopefully, the mother will find the courage to reach out to Charles and give her son a fighting chance.
Maggie and Ben are also giving Auggie a fighting chance.
We all saw the fostering (which will likely turn to adoption) storyline coming from a mile away, but it was still touching when it happened.
Maggie and Ben grew attached to Auggie while he was in the hospital, but more importantly, they were the only ones capable of offering him the kind of care that he truly needed.
Maggie knew everything from his favorite breakfast to what made him laugh to the kind of treatment he needed.
She didn’t have to prep for being his foster mom, she already was his foster mom with or without the paperwork.
The storyline was also able to briefly shine a light on how inequipped DCFS is to make choices for a child that could potentially save his life.
They wouldn’t sign off on a treatment deemed necessary by doctors because they thought it wasn’t necessary. Seriously, what?
Helping a child who feels like no one wants him is hard enough, it shouldn’t have to come with several hoops to jump in order to get him the proper care.
Speaking of parenthood, Sharon is concerned about her son. At first, finding out that Michael got a job at Med was music to her ears, but when he began trying to get personal information on her doctors and surgeons, she got a little worried.
Her radar really went off when Dr. Lanik told her that her son was a great salesman because he gifted him a bottle of scotch.
At that point, Sharon knew that Michael’s tactic was to bribe the staff into giving him their time and using Kender’s products.
As someone who advocates for her doctors and fights against the system on multiple occasions, you know she won’t stand for this in her OR, but she’s personally involved now.
How will she handle it?
For an impromptu penultimate episode, Chicago Med brought out some of their best work and set the stage for a promising early season finale. If it feels slightly premature, you’re right, next week is the last episode because coronavirus forced the series to shutter production so they have no episodes left in the reserve. Womp womp.
What did you think of the episode, Cravers? Did Choi do the right thing by ending things with April?
What’s Crockett’s big secret?
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